From Kansai Airport to downtown Osaka after 9.30pm

Flying during daytime and landed in Kansai Aiport (KIX) after 9.30pm local time where most of the shops or service counters were closed or about to close could be quite daunting, especially we were travelling with kids. Because you will never know when you need help in finding transport out of the airport or looking for a missing luggage or trying to use your phone but realise you forgot to subscribe to roaming service etc.

Luckily for us, none of the above happened to us. Phew….

Japan immigration

It was fast and swift clearing at the immigration because most probably there were not a lot of passengers arrived at that time, so most of the people queuing at the immigration were on the same flight as us.

Do take note that you need to fill up a declaration form which states your name, length of stay, the name, address and phone number of the place you stay in Osaka. We got this form from the air stewardess on our flight to Osaka.

The immigration officers in Osaka are strict with no passport cover policy. Our family has used passport covers all the time but this was the first time an officer physically removed our passport covers for us. Fortunately, Japanese are quite polite so we were not reprimanded for this. So please remove your passport cover if you use one.

After immigration, we picked up our luggage at the designated belt and exited the arrival gate. The whole process of getting off the plane till claiming our luggage was about 30 minutes.

Kansai Tourist Information Center

Once we exited the baggage claim area, we could see the Kansai Tourist Information Center right in front of us. If you are interested in getting travel passes like Osaka Amazing, this is where you can buy them. However, the information center closes at 10pm. When we exited the gate, there was already a queue of more than 10 people. Not worth the trouble to queue there. We could get the passes in downtown Osaka.

How did we get out of KIX and into downtown Osaka?

The answer is Nankai Limited Express Rapid train.

There are a lot of options to go into downtown Osaka from KIX such as by train, limousine bus service, rental car and taxi. There are also a few train operators to choose from, depending on where you stay, the speed of the train and your budget.

Why did we choose Nankai Limited Express Rapid?

Because it was the most convenient and fastest way to reach our AirBnB stay in Namba.

  • The Nankai Limited Express Rapid which only takes about 37 minutes from KIX to Nankai Namba station.
  • Tickets can be bought online in advance
  • We have reserved seats
  • Given the late night and nearly every services will close soon or already closed for the day, this is the fastest and simplest choice due to the time constraint
  • There is a commuter train by Nankai Electric which runs from KIX to Namba Station for roughly 44 minutes. But it can get pretty crowded as the train moves toward downtown Osaka. So with kids in tow and big luggage, we decided not to take this option. Moreover, you will need to figure out which is a limited express commuter train and local commuter train to Namba as the latter stops at every station while the earlier has fewer stops and much faster.
  • Other private train services do not stop at Namba, so we need to transfer from the stations to Namba by a subway train. Given the limited time and late night, we strike out this option too.
  • Taxi can be very expensive in Japan
  • Limousine bus service takes about one hour and it costs more than our Nankai Limited Express Rapid ticket

I had bought the tickets online because it offered 300 yen discount per adult ticket and 150 yen reduction for a child ticket. The cost of an adult ticket (after discount) is 1,130 yen and a child ticket is 570 yen for the regular seat. There is the Super seat option when you pay more for ample legroom and premium seat. You can click here for the website to buy the tickets.

After clearing the immigration and claiming our luggage, we headed to the second level where the Nankai Railway service counter was located. Even though buying the train tickets online, we still need to exchange the actual train tickets from the service counter. There were no queues and it had a special counter just for online ticket exchange. The staff at the counter asked us what timing we preferred for the departure and we chose the next available timing. The train runs every half an hour. After that, the staff indicated to us our assigned car number and seat numbers from the tickets, which was a great help.

The train station entrance was opposite of the service counter. Using our tickets to insert into the automatic gate machine slot and pick up the tickets at the other end, we went to the platform for our train easily.

At the entrance of our train car, there was a dedicated luggage space for us to store our heavy luggage. All seats were forward facing, very clean and we had ample of legroom.

Japan is well known for their impeccable on-time train services. Our train left right on schedule, not one minute early or one minute late.

The train ride was comfortable and fast, even though it made a few stops before reaching Nankai Namba Station. We reached Nankai Namba at about 11.10pm local time.

Once we reached Nankai Namba station, we followed our AirBnB host detailed video instructions to find the nearest exit to our apartment. We were able to get to the apartment without getting lost. It was easy to get the keys from the designated post box with passcode following the video instructions too. Finally, we check into the apartment before 11.30pm.

Overall, we had enjoyed our arrival here in Osaka. The kids were happy even though it was way past their bedtime. For me, it was a great day with no hiccups and everything went according to my planning. I give myself a big pat on the shoulder!!!

The next few posts, I will talk about the places that we visited in Osaka, so stay tuned!

Check out my post on 8 tips you need to know before going to Osaka Japan

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